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Does Sunscreen Prevent Skin Cancer?


SunscreenWith skin cancer the most common form of cancer in North America and more than 3.5 million cases... protection is a big concern.

However ... minimizing skin cancer risk may cause additional damage if using chemical laden sunscreens that can have allergic, carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting side effects.


Sunscreen Cautions:


1. There’s no proof that sunscreens prevent most skin cancer.


Rates of melanoma – the most deadly form of skin cancer – have tripled over the past 35 years. Most scientists and public health agencies – including the FDA itself – have found very little evidence that sunscreen prevents most types of skin cancer.

2. The common sunscreen additive vitamin A may speed development of skin cancer.


Retinyl palmitate is an anti-oxidant that slows skin aging. But studies indicate that it may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions when applied to skin in the presence of sunlight. EWG – The Environmental Working Group recommends that consumers avoid sunscreens, lip products and skin lotions containing vitamin A, often labeled “retinyl palmitate” or “retinol” a derivative of vitamin A. Topical retinoids are currently restricted from being used in cosmetics in Canada and Japan.

3.  Some sunscreen ingredients disrupt hormones and cause skin allergies.


Oxybenzone - This compound is of a category of organic compounds called benzophenones that are included in sunscreens as broad-spectrum UV blockers. Oxybenzone is present in close to half of all sunscreens. Problems include a high photo-allergic potential (meaning that an allergen is produced with UV exposure causing contact dermatitis), but our primary interest in this chemical is the estrogenic and hormone disrupting effect it has on the endocrine system.

4. Is there a good Sunscreen?


Nanoparticles - Mineral based UV filters such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide have a low photo-allergic reaction rate as well as relative stability in the sun. They tend to produce an opaque or white appearance on skin which many may not appreciate. Using nanosized particles of these minerals to minimize the cosmetic impact has raised question of systemic absorption and toxicity. Analysis has been unable to demonstrate toxicity so these may be one of the best bets when it comes to UV blockers.

Let the Sunshine In!

Let’s keep in mind that sunshine serves a critical function in the body. Through the production of vitamin D3 the sun strengthens bones and the immune system and reduces the risk of breast, colon, kidney and ovarian cancers.  Sunscreen on the other hand, appears to inhibit the production of vitamin D3.

If you avoid sun, check your vitamin D levels and supplement.

A vitamin D3 test is available from www.HelpforHormones.com.  Test don’t guess... when it comes to your D3 Levels.  About one-fourth of Americans have borderline low levels of vitamin D3, and 8 percent have a serious deficiency.

Supplement with a D3 Spray up to 5000 IUs a day if you are not in the sun for at least 10 minutes a day without sunscreen.


NOTE: large amounts of UV exposure do increase the risk of certain skin cancers, especially basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas and therefore protection from the sun is very important.

We encourage you to choose sunscreens with the fewest amounts of endocrine disrupting ingredients along with timing your outdoor activities for when the sun is not at its peak. Cover exposed skin with light weight cotton materials and wear a hat.

For detailed information about specific ingredients and ratings on sunscreens, visit the Environmental Working Groups 2013 Sunscreen Guide.
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